Asia

S. Korea begins trial of confidante of disgraced president

  • Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)

    Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)

    Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)

    Choi Soon-sil, the jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye, appears for the first day of her trial at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (Korea Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The jailed confidante of disgraced South Korean President Park Geun-hye has appeared at the first day of her trial.

Monday's hearing is the first day of a trial that will explore a scandal that led to Park's impeachment after millions took to the streets in protest.

It's the first time since late October that the woman at the heart of the scandal, Choi Soon-sil, has appeared in public.

Choi, Park's friend of 40 years, wore dark sunglasses and bowed deeply to the three judges. She then answered "yes" to questions confirming her name, address and other personal details.

The hearing at the Seoul Central District Court will review the charges against Choi, who prosecutors say manipulated state affairs and extorted businesses. It will also set the trial schedule.